Leaving Riga was easier said than done. We enjoyed the atmosphere of the city and we had a really good time with Ben. And that’s what our journey is about. To explore the world and to get to know its people, to see cities, villages, nature and to eat local food.
At the same time we cannot say that a round the world bicycle journey is not so much about cycling. If we want to cycle 60.000 km, the journey is very much about cycling. While we are pedalling, we are exploring the world. Because everything and everybody we can see anywhere in the entire world, is the real world we are living in. Those colorless fields and leafless trees in the Baltics in February are as much the world as a crowded bazar in Tunisia. And many of you guys surely wonder why on Earth we started cycling around the world from Northern Europe in February. Why not in the spring? Well, the answer is very easy. Because in this case we would climb high mountain passes in Central Asia in the wintertime. It really doesn’t matter when we would start to cycle, somewhere we will face winter, and at another place summer. We would still be freezing and sweating somewhere. That first day after our break in Riga was d disasterous… We hardly made 50 km because of a hailstorm. It catched us in an open field with a lot of traffic and in headwind. Nice mixture, right? 🙂 After having cycled about 10 km in these conditions, we gave up reaching our daily goal and we took in the nearest hostel in the next town.
That first day after our break in Riga was disasterous… We hardly made 50km because of a hailstorm.
The next day was the last stretch in Latvia and it was very hard. Horrendous headwind even in wonderful sunshine which made all our efforts on our bikes almost worthless. Just keep on pedalling and don’t mind the angry dogs and try to keep in mind that fact that those minutes, hours on the bike are just minutes and hours. And they will pass. But oh Lord, how those hours seemed to make completely no sense! Extremely lot of physical and mental work for almost nothing. And we were getting hot by sweating in our jackets that protected us from the icy headwind.
Do you wonder if we’ve ever asked ourselves what the hell is the point with this dirty sweaty hard training? Because it’s hard training. Both for our legs, our butts and our brains. It is not a long vacation around the world with a cocktail on the beach. And they say, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Unfortunately, we disagree. There are things that makes you weaker. Bad things that happened to one for a way too high price. We do charity for vulnerable children. And don’t say that every child who survives a war or another kind of abuse will feel better afterwards. Because this is not right.
And we are cycling around the world being very grateful for having this opportunity, but honestly, in very tough days we just feel that this journey makes us weaker and disappointed. Disappointed because we don’t want to invest way too much energy in something that is not worth in the long run.
But! And there’s a “but”! When all these hard things are happenning to us and when the wind, the rain, the dogs etc want to tear us off our bicycles, we always remember that Spanish couple from Lappland. Day 1 on our Sweden trip from Kiruna to Malmö. Two totally average people in our parents’ age who biked from Spain to Northern Sweden. And we are sorry for ourselves because of some wind in our faces. This is our new work and seeing the globe has its price. So eat a lot guys and keep on biking! Because that evening we got to a small town in Lithuania and the man who rented out his apartment via Airbnb reduced the price for our sakes and treated us with coffee. No winter storms can defeat warm hospitality. We just need to get there and grab that cup of coffee. And if we get a feeling that a tough stormy day is not what we’ve dreamed of, then we should keep in mind that all the cycled kilometers may fullfil the dreams of others.